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PUREnvy

Dog Shows + Undershot Jaw

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PUREnvy   

I have a 12 month old English Staffordshire Bull Terrier who my step-daughter was super keen on showing.

 

We went for annual health check and vet  noticed our girl has an undershot jaw. We’ve had multiple vet appointments and it has never been picked up before. I realise that the jaw won’t correct itself. 

 

I spoke with the breeder who told me that it’s common in this breed for bitches / dogs with the better heads (short nose) to have this issue and it shouldn’t really affect showing. 

 

I was was hoping to get some advice from people who regularly show Staffords about whether this fault is likely to disqualify her?

 

I’ve read the breed standard which states “should possess a prefect regular and complete scissor bite, set square to the jaws”

 

It also states “many Staffords have undershot jaws and it affects the dogs wellbeing, it’s ability to eat and in some cases the dog is unable to close their mouth. With this in mind the dog should be penalised accordingly” - I’m not sure if this means that she can still be shown but obviously will affect her results if other entrants do not have this particular issue or if this means that this would disqualify her completely?!

 

In all other aspects our girl seems exceptional and it would be very disappointing if this would exclude her completely. 

 

Thanks in in advance for any and all advice given.  

Edited by PUREnvy

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juice   

Was she bought to show ? How do you know she is good enough ? 

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Rebanne   

I don't show Staffords but yes an undershot mouth will effect her results. They are judged against a standard which you have already quoted re the mouth. If everything else was exceptional a judge may overlook an undershot mouth depending on how bad it is. Does your breeder show? I've never heard it said that a Staffordshire Bull Terrier should have a short nose. Maybe contact your state's breed club and have a chat with an impartial person.

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PUREnvy   
1 hour ago, juice said:

Was she bought to show ? How do you know she is good enough ? 

I bought her from a very well-known breeder who regularly participates in shows with success. 

 

Viewed both sire and dam prior to purchase who both were of exceptional quality and great temperment. Sire had a lot of champions in his lineage and was a champion in his own right, and as best I can recall Dam had success in the show ring also.

 

She was purchased for showing but promised my step-daughter she could do our girl’s first show so waited for her to reach 12 months. 

 

Im trying to be impartial when I say that she is of outstanding quality, obviously with the exception of her undershot jaw. 

 

I haven’t got any experience with showing but have put a bit of time into researching as it is a strong interest. Without having participated in any shows though I’m unsure of how she would compare to others in her breed given this fault. 

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PUREnvy   
53 minutes ago, Rebanne said:

I don't show Staffords but yes an undershot mouth will effect her results. They are judged against a standard which you have already quoted re the mouth. If everything else was exceptional a judge may overlook an undershot mouth depending on how bad it is. Does your breeder show? I've never heard it said that a Staffordshire Bull Terrier should have a short nose. Maybe contact your state's breed club and have a chat with an impartial person.

Thanks for your reply! 

 

I’m not sure the term short nose is accurate but there are definitely some Staffords that appear to have a much longer nose. 

 

I’ve tried to contact state club a number of time but haven’t answered as yet, will continue trying :) was hoping someone on this forum might have some first hand experience. 

 

The vet didn’t really say whether it was considered slight or severe, so I don’t have anything to compare it against. 

 

Any thoughts on what might still be passable? 

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Rebanne   
10 minutes ago, PUREnvy said:

Thanks for your reply! 

 

I’m not sure the term short nose is accurate but there are definitely some Staffords that appear to have a much longer nose. 

 

I’ve tried to contact state club a number of time but haven’t answered as yet, will continue trying :) was hoping someone on this forum might have some first hand experience. 

 

The vet didn’t really say whether it was considered slight or severe, so I don’t have anything to compare it against. 

 

Any thoughts on what might still be passable? 

I don't show SBT's so don't know what would be passable. If it has taken this long to be picked up I would assume it's not severe. There is only one way to really find out and that's to enter some shows and see what happens, knowing it's a very hotly contested breed. It would also be wise to take some show handling lessons and prepare your step daughter for the losses - which there are going to be regardless. Not every one wins. It's important to be a good sport, win or lose.

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Dogsfevr   

I would not show a dog with a bad bite .
The standard is very clear on the mouth .the issues that can occur in staffies as with any dog  a lack of under jaw which can affect mouths ,malocclusion is something to always be aware off.

For starters you need to get this dog assessed by someone who does know ,in all honesty if you have been checking her mouth regularly as part of her show training & general health you should have notice this especially if you have been reading the breed standard & researching .
If your breeder is local you need to go & visit them & ask there opinion of the mouth ,if your vet is a dogshow savvy vet who does have a good clue then there opinion is important ,if your vet is clueless then get an opinion of someone who knows correct bites .
There is nothing stopping you from showing BUT if the mouth is infact not correct then judges can no award you something you need to ensure your granddaughter is able to deal with if entering the ring .I would suggest if showing is going to happen then an adult needs to show her & see what happens.And as suggested show handling classes is a good start ,the instructors may also be able to give a view of the mouth

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PUREnvy   
21 hours ago, Dogsfevr said:

I would not show a dog with a bad bite .
The standard is very clear on the mouth .the issues that can occur in staffies as with any dog  a lack of under jaw which can affect mouths ,malocclusion is something to always be aware off.

For starters you need to get this dog assessed by someone who does know ,in all honesty if you have been checking her mouth regularly as part of her show training & general health you should have notice this especially if you have been reading the breed standard & researching .

I understand that malocclusion can be a serious issue but as I said she had been checked regularly by our vet and it had gone unnoticed until this most recent health check. 

 

Her teeth were perfect as a young pup and no issues were evident. 

 

We do not have any experience in showing and did not receive advice from the breeder in this respect so had very little go on in terms of what to look out for. We relied quite strongly on our vets opinions in respect of her health and well-being. 

 

I should clarify that although our girl was purchased with showing in mind, she was intended to be a pet first and foremost. 

 

We have only just begun her training this past month and the research I mentioned has been pretty much all my spare time in the past month also. I still have a long way to go. 

 

Both my step-daughter and myself have no issues with not placing, we didn’t really have any intention of being competitive showers. It was just for fun and if she places it’s a bonus. 

 

I have already spoken with the breeder who doesn’t believe it is an issue, but I would prefer independent adivce. I appreciate your advice and suggestions will ask judges for their views. 

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PUREnvy   

I also wanted to ask... for future reference are their any signs as a very young pup that might indicate malocclusion? if there aren’t already obvious signs.

 

from what I understand their jaw bones change quite a bit until around the 10 month mark?? 

 

 

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Pictures would help here...or have a breed expert look at it for you. Undershot is a matter of degrees... 

 

I'm not a SBT person.  With Labbies, the severe malocclusion cases typically show in the first months, but to confuse matters, some fairly bad looking bites come good. I think the story is that the lower jaw sometimes grows faster than the upper jaw (in my years breeding I only had a couple bite problems, neither serious).  I guess that could make a bite go bad, though I've only seen it cause improvement.  

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Dogsfevr   

Most vets are useless ,you need to get the dog looked at by a non bias party ,simply someone that can inform you what type of mouth your dog has .

Jaws can changed  a lot in some breeds you don’t feel safe till 15 months but generally speaking at 12 months if it’s not correct it would take a miracle especially an undershot .

Having said that is it truly undershot or a level bite .

When the vet showed you the issue how big was the gap from bottom to top 

 

Like  I said unless your vet is dog show savvy I would not rely on there opinion as to a show dog .

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PUREnvy   
13 hours ago, Dogsfevr said:

Most vets are useless ,you need to get the dog looked at by a non bias party ,simply someone that can inform you what type of mouth your dog has .

Jaws can changed  a lot in some breeds you don’t feel safe till 15 months but generally speaking at 12 months if it’s not correct it would take a miracle especially an undershot .

Having said that is it truly undershot or a level bite .

When the vet showed you the issue how big was the gap from bottom to top 

 

Like  I said unless your vet is dog show savvy I would not rely on there opinion as to a show dog .

Our vet is involved quite a bit in showing just with a different breed and isn’t overly familiar with Staffords in regards to showing. 

 

There is a noticeable gap in the bite, at least a few mm, definitely not a level bite. I was going to try measure today and get some photos. 

 

It would be wonderful if it did correct but I’m a little doubtful at this point that it will.

 

 

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ellz   

Staffords are a tough breed, very competitive.

 

Personally, if the bite is as bad as it sounds, I wouldn't be bothering even attempting to show her.  You're not doing her or yourself any favours.  It can be difficult enough to win with a good dog, let alone one with a major fault such as a really bad bite.  You're just setting yourself and your daughter up for disappointment.  If you really want to do something with your Stafford, other than allowing her to be a pet, maybe consider obedience.  Bite problems aren't an issue there and it can be a lot of fun as well.

 

For myself, I'd also be wary of a breeder who is happy to allow someone to show a dog carrying their prefix if it has a major fault.  I wouldn't dream of showing a Stafford with a bad mouth myself and I'd be horrified if any of my puppy people were to do so.

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PUREnvy   

here is a photo of her bite... 

 

i know anything other than correct scissor bite is a fault but this doesn’t seem so bad to me?!! 

 

there is no actual gap, i.e. her top teeth touch the bottom... perhaps more of a reverse scissor bite? 

 

any thoughts appreciated! 

FD655848-62D8-4E36-AD3E-2541ABDA2C27.jpeg

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36 minutes ago, PUREnvy said:

here is a photo of her bite... 

 

i know anything other than correct scissor bite is a fault but this doesn’t seem so bad to me?!! 

 

there is no actual gap, i.e. her top teeth touch the bottom... perhaps more of a reverse scissor bite? 

 

any thoughts appreciated! 

FD655848-62D8-4E36-AD3E-2541ABDA2C27.jpeg

Great photo.

Doesn't look like it would be a health problem, or interfere with chewing a bone or killing a rat.  I have no idea what show judges would say, but probably not good.

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asal   
1 hour ago, sandgrubber said:

Great photo.

Doesn't look like it would be a health problem, or interfere with chewing a bone or killing a rat.  I have no idea what show judges would say, but probably n

On 23/06/2018 at 5:29 AM, ellz said:

Staffords are a tough breed, very competitive.

 

Personally, if the bite is as bad as it sounds, I wouldn't be bothering even attempting to show her.  You're not doing her or yourself any favours.  It can be difficult enough to win with a good dog, let alone one with a major fault such as a really bad bite.  You're just setting yourself and your daughter up for disappointment.  If you really want to do something with your Stafford, other than allowing her to be a pet, maybe consider obedience.  Bite problems aren't an issue there and it can be a lot of fun as well.

 

For myself, I'd also be wary of a breeder who is happy to allow someone to show a dog carrying their prefix if it has a major fault.  I wouldn't dream of showing a Stafford with a bad mouth myself and I'd be horrified if any of my puppy people were to do so.

 

Friend had a pup that the bottom teeth began to come forward, turned out she loved playing tug of war, the pulling was suspected to be a contributing factor, stopped the game and scissor bite returned, many change bite as the bones grew as top n bottom don't grow at same rates doesn't help

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PUREnvy   

It was quite difficult to take the photo... using one hand trying to show her bite as best I could while holding my phone in the other. 

 

It doesn’t appear to bother her in any way as yet. 

 

Also I’m not sure I would consider this a ‘major’ fault... a fault yes because it is not a scissor bite per the breed standard but is by no means severely undershot (in my opinion). 

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asal   

yes in fact in quite a few breeds for example shih tzu they don't want a scissor bite, they want just what she is displaying, so its not going to affect her, if thats any help to alleviate your worrys on that score, one of nancys that began to go in front of her top teeth took to pushing her thumb against bottom teeth each morning and night so they stopped leaning forward and began to straighten, bit like the dentist does when putting braces on teeth and her bottom teeth went back into alignment behind the front teeth again so back to scissor bite

"Mouth:

Wide, slightly undershot or level. Lips level."

 

its all in the eye of the beholder the dog couldn't care a jot

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Dogsfevr   
2 hours ago, PUREnvy said:

It was quite difficult to take the photo... using one hand trying to show her bite as best I could while holding my phone in the other. 

 

It doesn’t appear to bother her in any way as yet. 

 

Also I’m not sure I would consider this a ‘major’ fault... a fault yes because it is not a scissor bite per the breed standard but is by no means severely undershot (in my opinion). 

It’s a major fault and no wouldn’t show her or breed with a mouth like that .

the degree is irrelevant,this is not a scissor bite .

 

In the end it’s your choice to show but I would be very reluctant to send a novice junior handler in the ring and I would not show under any European judges .

The dog May very well be non awarded as the mouth is a fault 

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PUREnvy   

We (my step-daughter and I) have never really been overly focused on placing in shows, it was more for the experience and fun of it. 

 

All things considered I think we will look into obedience / agility or possibly both. 

 

We’ll get more involved with some of the breed clubs before we start and maybe look for another pup for conformation shows at some point.

 

I’d like to experience all aspects of showing, confirmation shows were just where we thought we would start but makes little difference either way. I’m sure my step-daughter will enjoy it all the same. 

 

Thanks to everyone for your replies. 

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